1984 Critical Essay

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, Totalitarianism Pages: 4 (1495 words) Published: November 20, 2011
1984 Critical Essay

The novel I have chosen to write about that is set in a different time but is still relevant to this day is “1984” by George Orwell. Orwell effectively uses theme, characterisation, imagery and symbolism to help us appreciate the themes he runs throughout the book that have just as much relevance then as they do now. This is despite Orwells’ book being first published in 1948. Orwells’ book is set in a totalitarian state where all who live there must accept and comply with every one of the Party’s rules, ideas and orders. The main character in this novel is Winston Smith. Winston decides to rebel against the Party and soon after this results in his capture and torture from the Party. By the end of the book Winston is broken and is a fully compliant Party member. Orwell develops his idea of the future through the constant referencing to the theme of technology. The population in 1984 are closely monitored through hidden microphones and television screens which are present everywhere; the streets, the work places and even in people’s homes. These devices can receive and transmit messages to the public at the same time: “The telescreens received and transmitted simultaneously” This shows the lack of privacy in Orwells’ world but it also shows the constant monitoring of its citizens. This is not unlike the world today where CCTV cameras are around every corner. Technology is also used to improve life in 1984 as well. This is shown in Winston’s job, he uses a ‘speakwrite’ to alter records. This makes his life easier but it can be argued it is just another way of the Party monitoring behaviour as with nearly all of the technology in this novel. Another example of the Party using technology against the people is torture. Near the end of the novel Orwell tells us off a piece of technology that is unknown but tortures Winston into losing all his morels and into loving Big Brother and the Party. The main piece of technology in this novel is the...
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